A Brief History Of The Graflex Company And The Crown Graphic
Established all the way back in 1890, Graflex has a long and storied history. Founded by William Folmer, Graflex started off as The Folmer and Schwing Manufacturing Company. They were originally a manufacturer of gas lamps and bicycles. They didn't become known as Graflex until 1945. Over the years, they were owned by Kodak and then Singer Corporation (the sewing machine manufacturer). They finally went out of business in 1973.
Known mostly for their large format press cameras, Graflex also made 35mm rangefinders and stereo cameras. The Speed Graphic and Crown Graphic were far and away their most popular cameras. Both of these models are very similar, with the major difference being that the Crown Graphic lacks a focal plane shutter. This allowed for several advantages, such as being able to accommodate the use of wide angle lenses, and also making it lighter and thinner. The Crown Graphic was first offered in 1947 and had a run of 26 years, being produced all the way up to 1973 when they were no longer in business.
A fun fact that may interest you is that the Graflex 3-Cell Flash Handle was the basis for the original Lightsabers in episodes IV and V of the Star Wars movies!
If you are looking to get into Large Format Photography, there are few choices that would better suit your needs than the Crown Graphic. Well built, and with the ability to use it either with a tripod or handheld, the possibilities of the images you can create with this camera are only limited by your creativity and imagination. If you are interested, we have one for sale in our store, which you can find here
My name is John Oliver and I help Ken run this website and social media. You can see my meager attempts at street photography at www.jvo-photo.com